As discussion rages over what to do about rising obesity rates, scientists study environmental toxins called obesogens. Last night, Canadian program The Nature of Things aired Programmed to Be Fat? The documentary admits the fatty pitfalls of Western living, but asks that if this is the only factor, why has infant obesity risen 73% in the past 20 years? Babies aren't terrific Big Mac consumers. [more inside]
Stark billboards and television commercials that feature overweight kids are part of a controversial anti-obesity campaign in Atlanta. The goal of the "Stop Sugarcoating It, Georgia" ads is to shock families into recognizing that obesity is a problem.
The Fat Trap (NYT pop review): Overweight individuals in Western nations (and, increasingly, beyond) face interpersonal and institutional stigma for their bodies*. Oftentimes, these stigmas are predicated on the belief that being overweight is a moral failure, that being overweight is usually a result of laziness, decadence, and/or characterlogical poor impulse control. However, an emerging consensus among obesity researchers points toward strong, common physiological and individual genetic factors as causative for heightened BMIs in the modern world and the general failure of dieting to produce BMI outcomes. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (paywalled) adds to this body of evidence, suggesting that chemical messengers held to contribute to altered "efficient" metabolism and increased hunger in the wake of low-calorie dieting are (on average) significantly elevated up to a full year (if not longer) following a substantial drop in weight from dieting.> [more inside]
Obese monkeys lose weight by new drug that kills off fat cells. Adipotide is the newest weapon in the war on obesity. Unlike other weight-loss drugs that try to suppress appetite, boost one's metabolism, or block the absorption of fat, Adipotide blocks the blood supply that feeds fatty tissue. Studies show monkeys lost 11% of their body weight after 4 weeks of treatment.
Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit "My goal is to inspire people to get fit, teach them how to do it and give them hope that it IS possible to get fit and stay fit. " [more inside]
You know those Coke Freestyle machines? Where you can make your own combos? Like, 127 of them? [more inside]
"Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date. Some day very soon, Life's little Twinkie gauge is gonna go... empty."
Taxpayers in the San Francisco area spend $2,762,295 each year in junk food subsidies, but only $41,950 each year on apple subsidies. [LATIMES] A new report released this week has found that, among the billions of dollars spent each year in federal subsidies for commodity crops, a steady flow of these taxpayer dollars are going to support high fructose corn syrup and three other common food additives used in junk food. The report, “Apples to Twinkies: Comparing Federal Subsidies of Fresh Produce and Junk Food” by CALPIRG and the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, studies the interesting question of whether the nation's problem with obesity is fueled by farm subsidies.
Food Fight: Does Healthy Food Have to Be More Expensive? In which the blog Get Rich Slowly chronicles an argument about nutrition vs cost and then invites readers to chime in.
Obesity Epidemic Grows: [CNN.com] "Two-thirds of all adults and about a third of all children and teenagers in the United States are overweight or obese according to a report release Thursday by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). According to "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2011,"[PDF] adult obesity increased in 16 states during the past year and rates soared to 30% or more in these 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. Four years ago, only one state - Mississippi - had an adult obesity rate of more than 30%. No state showed a decrease in it obesity rate in Thursday's report."
A recent study shows that people who drink diet soda tend to have larger waist circumferences over time. But is there an actual link? [more inside]
Hello, I am fat. This is my body (over there—see it?). I have lived in this body my whole life. I have wanted to change this body my whole life. I have never wanted anything as much as I have wanted a new body. I am aware every day that other people find my body disgusting. I always thought that some day—when I finally stop failing—I will become smaller, and when I become smaller literally everything will get better (I've heard It Gets Better)! My life can begin!
Why Wal-Mart Is Making Our Health Its Problem - "So what's behind the [healthier-eating] initiative? In a word: scale. In a recent article in HBR, Chris Meyer and I argued that we'll see companies taking more and more ownership of externalities they could ignore because of changing sensibilities and better sensors (meaning detection and reporting of impacts by third parties). But we also identified a third driver: the scale of modern business. Whereas in the past, a single grocer could not have much impact on society, in today's highly consolidated market, Wal-Mart touches a significant percentage of the nation's food intake. Once you reach a scale where your decisions have ramifications for millions, it is hard to pretend that the impacts, even as distant ripples, are not your problem."
Michelle Obama promotes an anti-obesity campaign, telling her children that "dessert is not a right." Sarah Palin takes a shot at her on a reality show, making s'mores and saying, "This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert." There's hooting and hollering from all sides. And then there's this -- is Sarah Palin courting the fat vote?
From Obesity Panacea, a blog is written by two obesity researchers: a 5-part series delving into the fascinating and seemingly paradoxical research on people who remain metabolically-healthy despite being obese: 1) Introduction: An Oxymoron? 2) Prospective Risk of Disease 3) Lower Risk of Mortality? 4) Is Weight Loss Detrimental? 5) Is Weight Loss Beneficial? [more inside]
How downloading music has literally saved my life: a lightly punctuated personal essay about obesity and compulsion.
About-Face aims to provide women and girls with skills to critically examine media messages that affect their positive self-image. Their website is a one-stop shop for simple, direct, teen-friendly educational materials about female self-esteem and body image. [more inside]
Weighing 607 pounds, Bruce Snowdon was a sideshow fat man from 1977 to 2003, billed as "Harold Huge". His death on Nov. 9, 2009, at the age of 63 marks the end of a long tradition dating back centuries. [more inside]
The health care bill requires chains with 20 or more restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus, as is already the law in New York and Philadelphia. A study published last fall suggested that the labels didn't change the eating behavior of low-income New Yorkers. A recent study at Yale, conducted under laboratory conditions, found the opposite. Corby Kummer at the Atlantic says calorie labeling works -- once you understand the point is to change the behavior, not of the consumer, but of the vendor. Will calorie labels lead the way to a healthier America, or a part-skim socialist dystopia? Or is the call of the Thickburger just too strong for mere numbers to dispel?
Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, and.... fat? Dr. Russell Keast, an Austrailian scientist who studies "perceived flavour, consumer acceptance and preference of foods and nutrition," has conducted research exploring humans' apparent sixth taste perception: fat. The kicker? Sensitivity to the taste of fat was negatively correlated with fat intake and BMI. Dr. Keast discussed the results of his latest research with Slashfood, and The Sydney Morning Herald. (via) [more inside]
Pellagra is an awful disease. Its symptoms are the four D's -- diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and death, unpleasant by anyone's standards. Caused by a deficiency in niacin, pellagra is uncommon in developed nations thanks to the fortification of bread products with niacin. But could excess niacin be causing the rapid rise in type II diabetes? [more inside]
25 students at Lincoln University may not graduate, because they failed -- to lose weight. The students are members of "the first graduating class required to either have a BMI below 30 or to take 'Fitness for Life,' a one semester class that mixes exercise, nutritional instruction and discussion of the risks of obesity" in order to graduate from Lincoln. [more inside]
Dismal economy got you down? Chin up, sport - it's possible to save money and eat like a king at one of America's abundant all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants. Before you and your dining companion are whisked off this culinary land of plenty, take note of the definitive strategy guide to maximize both your dollar and your waistline. Fill up on tips such as: Wear items with intricate patterns or designs that will disguise spills and stains. As you get your game plan together, here's your anthem.
Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Robert H. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, discusses the biochemical properties of fructose and makes the case for why it should be considered, essentially, a poison. [Youtube, 1.5 hours] [more inside]
The winter of 1944–45 is known as the ‘Hunger Winter’ in The Netherlands, which was occupied by the Germans in May 1940. Beginning in September 1944, Allied troops had liberated most of the South of the country, but their advance towards the North came to a stop at the Waal and Rhine rivers and the battle of Arnhem. In support of the Allied war effort, the Dutch government in exile in London called for a national railway strike to hinder German military initiatives. In retaliation, in October 1944, the German authorities blocked all food supplies to the occupied West of the country. Despite the war, nutrition in The Netherlands had generally been adequate up to October 1944. Thereafter, food supplies became increasingly scarce. By November 26, 1944, official rations, which eventually consisted of little more than bread and potatoes, had fallen below 1000 kcal per day, and by April 1945, they were as low as 500 kcal per day. Widespread starvation was seen especially in the cities of the western Netherlands. Food supplies were restored immediately after liberation on May 5, 1945.But for many, who weren't even born when it started, the hongerwinter continues. Why? In part because "certain environmental conditions early in human development can result in persistent changes in epigenetic information" via DNA methylation. Epigenetics seems like a little bit of Lamarckism: environmental effects on a parent -- or even a grandparent -- can be passed to offspring, even without permanent changes to DNA. (previously)
"How do black women fight crime? They have abortions." "How do you stop a poofter from drowning? You take your foot off his head." These and other 'jokes' featured in an advertisement on The Gruen Transfer, an Australian television program focusing on advertising. The ad, part of a segment called 'The Pitch' which usually produces humorous ads, was banned by the ABC, but the national broadcaster has still allowed it to be viewed online, and hundreds have now seen it. The ad was designed to sell "fat pride", with creator Adam Hunt explaining his motivation behind the ad being to say "if you discriminate against somebody on the basis of their shape then you are no different to someone who is racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic." Debate has raged online if the ad is offensive and discriminatory, as the ABC has declared, and whether or not it was effective. Watch the ad and judge for yourself.
David Kessler Knew That Some Foods Are Hard to Resist; Now He Knows Why. Former FDA commissioner David Kessler goes dumpster-diving to investigate the neurological impact of eating junk food. [Via]
Obesity can be “caught” as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands.... As many as one in three obese people may have become overweight after falling victim to the highly infectious cold-like virus, known as AD-36.
A graphic yet poignantly written first-person account of what it is like to weigh 530 pounds. The author of this account is unflinchingly brutal in her candor, which, although it makes some graphic moments in her narrative difficult to read, also brings you deeply into her world and her perspective. (A July 2008 update.)
Mississippi considers banning people with a BMI higher than 30 from eating in public. Though its author doesn't expect it to pass, House Bill 282 attempts to draw attention to the obesity epidemic, exaggerated or no. Predictably, some are upset.
There are lots of people who post weight loss videos on Youtube. But none of them faced as many challenges as Jeremy did. Morbidly obese, and bedridden, we watched while he struggled to walk again and defeat obesity. Despite those that were rude to him, nobody seemed to have as much spirit and drive as Jeremy did. Even Jeremy's last video was filled with optimism. But even though so many of us struggle against obesity, some of us lose the fight. Even though Jeremy has passed, Roberta's videos dealing with his loss remind us how fortunate we really are.
It's a Big World After All. The Disneyland Small World ride is going to be closed for 10 months in 2008 due to refurbishing. The main reason for the refurbishing: the ride isn't built to accommodate today's average passengers' body weights.
Struggling British biotech firm Vernalis reports "striking" weight loss among patients taking its new obesity drug, "V24343".
Obesity has been called an epidemic in the United States. Looking at an interactive statistic [CNN, flash] of the state-by-state numbers is sobering mf. 64% of adults are overweight and approx 25% are obese [Wikipedia 1, 2]. The usual suspects have so far been a culture of low-exercise mf high-consumption (due to urban sprawl, driving, TV, ... ), microbes mf, genetic predisposition, and bad diet (the ubiquity of junk food with its high levels of fat, sugar and salt. Recently the high fructose levels in the common American diet has also been noted. Fructose comprises 50% of table sugar and up to 90% of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), both ingredients found in copious amounts in most American 'convenience' foods. [Wikipedia: Fructose#References, Wikipedia:HFCS]).
Now it seems that a decisive assessory is a common virus, the Human Adenovirus-36, which may really make obesity an actual epidemic. [Int. Journal of Obesity, CNN]
Now it seems that a decisive assessory is a common virus, the Human Adenovirus-36, which may really make obesity an actual epidemic. [Int. Journal of Obesity, CNN]
The fingers you have used to dial are too fat. To obtain a special dialing wand, please mash the keypad with your palm now.
Cheap Donuts and Expensive Broccoli: the Effect of Relative Prices on Obesity. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the period 1982-1996, we find that individual BMI measures, as well as the likelihood of being overweight or obese, exhibit a statistically significant positive correlation with the prices of healthful relative to unhealthful foods.
Southwest's obesity ticket policy nearly strands man with medical condition that causes obesity. SWA's extra fee for fat travelers has been covered before. But what if your obesity is caused by a medical condition? An indigent man dying of late-stage Hepatitis C and suffering from related abdominal bloating is told by an SWA gate agent he can't board a connecting flight to a hospital willing to take his case unless he coughs up money for another ticket -- despite the family getting reassurances before he departed that he wouldn't have to pay due to his medical state. He only boards after an SWA in Dallas for the ticket herself.
The right approach in dealing with childhood obesity? Several states in the US are handing out body mass "report cards" to better inform parents on the issue of childhood obeseity. Is this an effective tactic or will it lead to an increase in weight problems in the future?
When you drive on local streets you can be a Wingman for Grandma. Help make Grandma safer when she goes out for a walk. Drive the speed limit on local streets. Help set the pace for your community. Small increases in vehicle speed increase the threat to pedestrians. By helping to calm your local streets you can make it safer and more pleasant for you and your family.
Obesity and Diabetes - another free supplement by Nature
No running in PE. I was talking to my kids about school the other day. We were discussing what they do in their different classes and the conversation came around to physical education (PE). I was shocked when they told me that their gym teacher forbids running in PE class. What?! No running in PE? It’s true.
Paging Dr. Ronald McDonald and Dr. Pepper. To Cardiology ... stat. Despite the innumerable reports demonstrating an sharp rise in childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in children, many children's hospitals continue to provide a plethora of unwholesome food and beverage choices. Moreover, these choices often contribute to revenue in most of these hospitals. This has been well-documented in community and academic [BugMeNot] hospitals. Different children's hospitals are awfully good at handing out advice to families. Maybe the hospitals should look in the mirror [note: links to .pdf of study].
Can microbes make us fat? Of the trillions and trillions of cells in a typical human body — at least 10 times as many cells in a single individual as there are stars in the Milky Way — only about 1 in 10 is human. The other 90 percent are microbial. These microbes — a term that encompasses all forms of microscopic organisms, including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and a form of life called archaea — exist everywhere. New evidence suggests microbes in our bodies can determine how efficiently we process food and affect our hunger centers.
Newsfilter: According to a new research from the United States, increasing numbers of Americans are becoming too fat to fit into X-ray machines. Whoa. Heavy...
Lifestyle on the line. UK to allow hospital's opinions on personal lifestyle to define state healthcare decisions.
I always thought I was weird, that what I liked was somehow bad and something must be wrong with me. Thank god for the internet!
NSFW "Here at Fantasy Feeder we either want to be fat or we want to fatten. We're feeders and feedees obsessed with over endulging our huge bellies and fat bottoms, and we're here to share stories, play online games and encourage each other to gain weight."
America's Waistline. A new piece examines the politics of the fat. Despite the growing numbers of people who are becoming obese, the fat acceptance movement remains oddly stunted in terms of membership. The growing civil rights movement faces many problems, including presenting a respectable face to the public. You see, many of the people who are in charge are feeders (NWS). Many wonder how the movement be taken seriously when so many who lead are sexual deviants and much of the revenue generated for size acceptance efforts is through pornography? Still, the battle rages on.